I was flying from Chicago to Washington for Thanksgiving last week when out of the corner of my eye I detected, on a page of SkyMall being flipped through in the next seat over, a photo of a Christmas tree topped by a Star of David. Talk about your revelations!
Somehow, religion-in-public-life maven though I am, I had missed the Menorament phenomenon. It seems the idea occurred to Morri and Marina Chowaiki, a “Jewish-born” couple from Los Angeles, back in 2005, when Morri suggested affixing a six-pointed star to their Christmas tree. They've been selling their patented design on Amazon since 2009, mostly to intermarried Jewish-Christian couples and evangelicals eager to do the Judeo-Christian thing.
Now there are those Jews who take a dim view of the mash-up. The Christmas tree is about, more or less, the birth of Jesus. The Star of David is about Jewish identity. It's got to be traif–unkosher–to shove the one onto the other.
And yet, and yet. As a connoisseur of the Judeo-Christian tradition, I'd say the Menorahment is the perfect counterstroke to all those fuddy-duddies, from Arthur A. Cohen to Shalom Goldman, who insist that those who employ Judeo-Christian terminology are actually subordinating Judaism to Christianity–that the adjectival “Judeo-” somehow signifies that Christianity (the substantive) has superseded its predecessor faith.
So here comes the Menorahment, sitting atop the Christmas tree as a symbol of Jewish supersessionism. Mixed-faith families use it? Great! Evangelical families? Even greater!
Now, if only I were willing to have a Christmas tree in the house.